Top 10 reasons to fall love with Playa del Carmen

There’s something for everyone in Playa Del Carmen, be it the beach lovers, the party people, the nature lovers, the foodies or even the shopaholics.

This gorgeous and lively beach destination offers world-class beaches, shopping, night life, hotels, eat-outs, adventure sports, relaxation and a whole lot more!

With so much to do in Playa del Carmen, it’s hard to narrow down the long list of reasons to visit, but below you’ll find our top 10.

LOCATION:
“Playa” as the locals call it, is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. Playa del Carmen is only 45 minutes away from Cancun. Its central location makes it a tourist hot-spot as all the sights and adventure sites along the Caribbean coastline are easily accessible from this town.

CLIMATE:
Playa del Carmen has a sub-tropical climate, which means it’s almost always warm. Or hot. The annual average temperature is about 27C or 80F. Irrespective of what time of year you get here, you will have great beach days and the ocean is always warm enough to swim in.

BEACHES:
Playa del Carmen is famous for its gorgeous beaches. The deep blue glistening waters and stretches of stunning white sand make for the most breathtaking sight. It’s hard not to fall in love with the scenic beaches here.

It is also known for its stylish beach clubs that offer food and beverage services, a variety of spa treatments and aquatic sports, plus access to restrooms, showers and pools.

ACTIVITIES:
Activities in Playa include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, para-sailing and deep water fishing. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the 18-hole course at Playacar along Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.

NIGHT LIFE:
The European and American-influenced nightlife in Playa is much talked about. This town has quite an excellent mix of clubs and music venues, as well as several beachside bars. Most of the action centers around El Zócalo and La Quinta, but better deals can be found along the beachside or farther out of town.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS:
Playa del Carmen has plethora of attractions which can easily fill up your holidays. Here is a list of some of the perennial favorities.
LA QUINTA AVENIDA – Better known as the FIFTH AVENUE is the hot-spot for nightclubs, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes shops and souvenir-shops that are on 24/7.

XCARET – The largest and most impressive theme park in the Riviera Maya where you can snorkel in an underground river, learn about marine life in a living aquarium, walk through a butterfly pavilion, see jaguars and pumas, swim with dolphins or manatees, and learn about sea turtles.

XEL-HA A natural aquarium park which has an impressive variety of brightly colored tropical fish. It is a wonderland of cenotes, mangroves and lagoons.

TULUM- Holds the honor of being the most picturesque archaeological site in the Riviera Maya and the only one to have been built overlooking the ocean. A visit here offers spectacular views of the Riviera Maya beaches, Caribbean Sea and surrounding coastal region

CENOTE AZUL– Near Playa del Carmen that is open to visitors and offers a quiet cool retreat from the blazing sun and the crowds.

Fifth Avenue - Playa del Carmen

Fifth Avenue – Playa del Carmen

SHOPPING:
 When it comes to shopping you will be spoilt for choice in Playa. Fifth Avenue is full of unique shops offering the latest styles in clothing and beachwear, shoes, hats, sunglasses, unusual handicrafts, artwork, jewelry, leather products and souvenir shops. Hottest-selling souvenirs: Mexican tequila and Cuban cigars!

FOOD:
Mexican, Yucatecan, Italian, Argentinian and a host of other international restaurants line Quinta Avenida. With a spectacular spread of cuisines, Playa has it all for the foodies.

ACCOMODATION:
There’s accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes in Playa.

In the recent years, numerous high quality small hotels and condominiums have come forth in Playa del Carmen that offer high style and luxury, on and off the beach.

PEOPLE & ATMOSPHERE:
Playa has a very bohemian atmosphere with an ‘elite’ feel to it.People here are extremely hospitable. Because tourism is the main industry most locals are fluent both in Spanish and English.

Playa del Carmen is a beautiful holiday destination for those seeking a slice of paradise!

10 Tips for Hiring a GREAT Home Improvement Contractor

Sometimes it is a good idea to appoint a professional rather than taking on your home improvement project yourself.  But then, everyone has heard frightful stories about a home improvement disaster as choosing the wrong contractor can have very damaging results. Problems can vary from minor flaws like poor finishing to serious issues such as exorbitant fees, possible safety risks, non-compliance with statutory requirements, and sometimes the need for the work to be completely redone.

In reality, though, there are thousands of trustworthy and dependable contractors out there waiting to be hired. So, how do you go about making sure you hire a good one?

Here are 10 tips to help you hire a dependable contractor for your home improvement projects:

1. Look at the contractor’s portfolio of work

Ask the architect or the designer to show you a portfolio of some his past projects. Looking at work samples will allow you to have an idea about the quality of work and also about the creativity of the home designer. This will also give you an insight into the variety of work the contractor has done.

2. Request for references

It is important to ask the contractor for at least 3 recent references and to make sure that you follow up on them. Check these references out by asking them questions about their experience with that contractor. Did they give you the completed home project on time? Did they go off budget? Was the complete work up to the mark? The answers to these questions will help you in taking the right decision. Do not just appoint anyone who puts a flier in your mailbox and pretends to have done work for your neighbors!

3. Compare at least three quotes

Based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time frame, you must examine and compare quotations from at least three different home improvement contractors.

4. Be clear about cost

In case of the contractor charging on per day basis you will need to agree to a timeframe to figure out the exact cost of the project. In many cases, though, the contractor charges a percentage of the total cost of the project as their fee. Have clear and detailed discussions with the contractor about the cost of the project. Whatever the method is, do not ever pay the full cost of the project up in advance. Agree to a payment plan and use a contract.

5. A Detailed Contract

Never allow work to commence without a signed and written contract. This contract should include aspects such as start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, brands of items being installed, complete set of drawings being used with written specs and warranty information. If everything is agreed upon in advance, there will be no ugly surprises.

6. Make Sure the Contractor has a License and Insurance

Having a license and insurance displays a contractor’s trustworthiness and expertise. The license proves that the contractors know building codes and processes. A license also reduces the risk to property owners of getting tricked. To be sure, get the contractor’s license number. If a contractor does not have insurance and a worker gets hurt on your project, you could be liable. To be on the safe side, it is important that you get proof of insurance.

7. Discuss Your Guidelines With The Contractor

Discuss your limits and expectations with the contractor. If you need to have the project completed before a certain date, do not want the workers staying past a certain time everyday or any other specific requirement, let the contractor know before you hire him. The contractor may not want or be able to accept the job based on your criterion.

8. Find out Who Will Be Performing the Work

You must check with the contractor if he will be doing the work himself or if it will be subcontracted to someone else. Major property remodeling projects often involve multiple subcontractors, such as electricians and plumbers. It is nice to know who will turn up on your doorstep. It all goes back to appointing a contractor you can count on because he is never going to put a bad subcontractor on your job.

9. Deposit & Payment

Never pay a deposit of more than 20% to 30% of the entire project cost. Final payment should only be done when the job is completed. Make payment by check and credit card and never by cash.

10. Warranty

Get warranty information in writing on all products and installation. Read the particulars cautiously.